Television Review:
Who’s going to win ‘Idol’?
Posted May 2, 2008

Erin Konrad
Arts Editor

This season, the cultural phenomenon “American Idol,” has offered some memorable performances, snarky comments from Simon Cowell and exciting guest mentors for the contestants.

Another fun (and much gossiped about) factor is the drama that arises with the judges. Paula Abdul got into trouble this week when she erroneously judged Jason Castro’s two songs after he had only performed one. Rumors abounded that Paula seemed drunk or high, and that none of her answers made sense. The other two judges and host Ryan Seacrest jumped to her defense, but the audience is loving the antics.

But what has been truly riveting to watch are the unexpected ups and downs the singers’ have gone through each week with their songs.

While the show does its best to “give back,” its charity night was less successful than last year, allowing the show to return to why audiences are really watching – those off-key notes and dramatic departures of fan favorites.

The best singer has already been kicked off. Carly Smithson, the bright Irish lass, had the most range and an impressive tone to her voice.

However, the show’s voters often pick personalities over singing. At this point, the remaining four still have time to win over the American people.
Here’s a breakdown of the odds the remaining few have of winning.

David Archuleta—Deemed the sure thing at the beginning of the competition, his ‘aw shucks’ attitude is now wearing thin. He makes poor song choices for his age, and has been rumored to change the lyrics of his songs to keep in line with his Mormon background.

America wants an Idol that’s actually like us…how much do we have in common with a 17-year old who has a penchant for hokey songs and humility?

The only benefit he has now is that he can pretty much sing any genre—he’s been consistent with guest mentor’s songs. Anyone who can sing Andrew Lloyd Webber one week and Neil Diamond the next must have some talent.

Jason Castro—This dread-locked lothario has the clear teenybopper vote, evident from the girls that scream whenever he comes on stage. He definitely has a cool, hippie vibe apparent in his guitar-accompanied renditions of “Over the Rainbow” and “Michelle.”

Although he’s consistent, his best performance was many weeks ago when he did “Hallelujah.” He might have peaked too soon, but he has still gotten pretty far in the competition. He doesn’t have the strongest vocals out of all four of the singers, but his pretty boy looks might be enough to lock in some votes.

David Cook—He represents the best “American Idol” has to offer. His unique rocker style has set him apart, and he brings his own genius to every song. Immediate hits on iTunes include his brilliant versions of “Billie Jean,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Always Be My Baby.”

The hidden tearjerker behind every performance is the orange band he always wears on his wrist. His brother is fighting cancer, and it is Cook’s way of paying homage to him. If that won’t get him sympathy votes, nothing will.

Luckily, he also takes enough risks with his song choices to win over those hard-hearted voters.

Syesha Mercado—She is talented, but her performances have only gotten worse since she made it into the top 10. She tries to sing the greats like “I Will Always Love You” and “Yesterday,” but she can’t compare to Whitney.

She lacks a vibrant personality, and often seems to just be hanging out onstage when she’s performing. She could be a great singer, but at this point, she’s just biding her time.

Overall, they’re talented singers, but only one can win the title. Will it be baby-faced Archuleta? Or rocker Cook?

At this point, it’s still anyone’s “Idol” to win.

Erin Konrad can be reached at ekonrad@ulv.edu.

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